To clarify further: Concealed within each thing is its antithesis; each of the essence-powers (i.e., essential faculties) has its antithesis incorporated within it. This is so by virtue of its essence (atzmus), which is of a higher level than even the essence-powers, and contains all of them in perfect synthesis. For example, the essence of the soul transcends the essence-powers contained within it, and thus bears them all. Within the essence of the soul the powers coalesce in total unity, and do not exist as separate, particular powers, not even as essence-powers. (While they cannot be discerned as individual entities, they are still powers.) Nevertheless, it is a logical imperative that the essence includes all the powers within itself, for all the powers do emanate from it. This being so, it is clear that they are included in such a way that they are as one, with no differentiation of any sort. This concept is related to the idea of yachid [“sole” as opposed to “one,” which implies the existence of others]. Because they are unified at the level of essence, even when the powers [descend to] exist at the level of particulars, each includes its antithesis in a concealed state.

This concept applies not only in regard to the soul’s qualities but to every component of existence. Hidden within water, for example, there is [the mystical element of] fire, and fire in turn conceals [the mystical element of] water, although in each case this is utterly indiscernible, even [as it were] to itself. Hence, on a revealed level, water and fire to all appearances homogeneous cannot coalesce.

However, when water is analyzed [into its fundamental mystical components] and the [mystical element of] fire that was within is extracted and revealed, and vice versa this being the meaning of the statement in Sefer Yetzirah ,1 He extracted fire from water and water from fire” the two [mystical] elements can, at this point, coalesce. The “fire” within water and the “water” within fire can be linked, thus uniting water and fire. When water is analyzed and its opposite quality is discovered within, its [distinctive] power is weakened. The same is true in the case of fire, and this weakening makes it possible for them to come together. Thus it is this division that is the cause of their mutual incorporation.

Within each of the essence-powers [similarly] within fire and water, and in every element of existence there exists its opposite in a concealed state. Through a process of analysis and division, and through the revelation of this hidden quality, the two elements may be joined.